From David Attenborough on dinosaurs to Michael J. Fox’s insight into living with Parkinson’s disease, our TV columnist Bethan Ackerley picks the year’s best science documentaries
By Bethan Ackerley
Michael J. Fox in Still, his documentary about living with Parkinson’s disease
Wild Isles (BBC iPlayer)
This big-budget series from David Attenborough and the BBC Studios Natural History Unit takes a closer look at the flora and fauna of the UK and Ireland. Warring capercaillie and the sex lives of ash-black slugs are two highlights.
Take Care of Maya (Netflix)
In 2016, 10-year-old Maya Kowalski was admitted to hospital with severe pain. The tragedy that ensued lays bare the failings of a US hospital.
Earth (BBC iPlayer)
Each episode of Earth delves deep into the history of our planet, from the worst-ever mass extinction to the rise of humans, and is replete with cutting-edge scientific research.
A still from Earth of an 8-metre tall fungus, Prototaxities, that towered over plants 430 million years ago.
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV+)
Michael J. Fox, best known as the star of the Back to the Future films, was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease at just 29 years old. His documentary about living with the condition is moving but never mawkish.
The Secret Genius of Modern Life (BBC iPlayer)
Mathematician Hannah Fry presents this addictively interesting series, which returned in 2023 to teach us all about the innovations underpinning everyday life, from passports to vacuum cleaners.
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